The promise of metal additive manufacturing hasn’t quite matched its initial hype. Costs are still high, and the tech remains best suited to fabricating low-volume, high-complexity parts. In short, it hasn’t been the anticipated boon to industrial manufacturing yet—so using a rocket engine to spray and bond metal particles onto existing machine parts might seem a little like overkill.
A Bay Area trio with a unique start-up idea may be changing all that. Co-founder engineers Deepak Atyam, Alex Finch, and Jesse Lang of Tri-D Dynamics have developed what they call “cold metal fusion,” which combines powder-based metallurgy with rocket science—and perhaps will open an untapped market in the process.
Tri-D Dynamics is developing a way to embed electronic sensors within metal machine parts, fortifying and protecting them from harsh environment by spraying the optimal material over them to prevent damage. Or as Finch puts it, “We can protect the electronics with a metal stronger than the metal from the part itself—getting more performance for a lower cost.” Seamlessly integrating structural hardware with the electronics required to activate them makes the parts “smart.”
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